In 1725, Franciscan monks established the Convent of Ocopa to evangelize and civilize the tribes of the Peruvian jungle. Located about 45 minutes from the city of Huancayo in the central Andes, this monastery contains a library with over 25,000 volumes of antique literature. Adorning many of the walls of the splendid building are paintings that date 200-300 years in age. It is a most impressive place where the walls literally seem to breathe with stories.
Another convent built for nuns once stood less than 1/8thof a mile away. That building no longer exists. Pastor Enrique Nickel shared with us that some of the monks tunneled from their building to the one housing the nuns. Many of the women became pregnant and had abortions. Eventually, the embarrassment and inability to stop the misbehavior led to the destruction of the sister’s convent.
2 Corinthians 6:3--We give no opportunity for stumbling to anyone, so that the ministry will not be blamed.
Today is not so much different from times past. Until Jesus returns, men and women will wrestle with sin natures. Sadly, so often people want nothing to do with following Christ because they cannot get past the venal actions of those who profess loyalty to Him. Clergymen commit adultery. Treasurers skim money from church bank accounts. Hypocrisy is not limited to race, color, creed or geographical boundaries.
There is always an explanation for what causes us to fall into immorality. The moment we refuse to let Christ rule our hearts we are vulnerable to sin. Periodically we ought to ask ourselves two questions:
1. What do I truly crave?
2. Am I willing to deny what I want to obey what God says?
When we as Jesus’ disciples fail, the result is exponentially harmful. Those who see followers flop rationalize their own inability to be holy. This was precisely why the Apostle Paul strove zealously not to sin. He could not bear the thought of a discredited ministry lest the name of Christ be slandered. The solution is not to burn down the convent but rather to be holy. We must, at all costs, remember that Jesus must come first. If we are unwilling to live holy lives, then what matters most is not God or the service He entrusted to us. The world is dying to see what living is really all about. What kind of ministry are you living? I pray you and I set as our first cause to be faithful followers of Jesus. Something to think about . . . in reveration.
Have I received a ministry from the Lord? If so, I have to be loyal to it, to count my life precious only for the fulfilling of that ministry.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©2002Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)